Recent blog posts

Josh Kurtz: The Natural

Even with a dozen beauty queens present, there may not have been a better-looking person marching in the Silver Spring Thanksgiving parade Saturday than Will Jawando, one of seven Democrats looking to succeed U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) next year. And even with an endless succession of officeholders and office seekers waving to the crowds, there may not have been a smoother pol on hand than Jawando, either. From humble beginnings in Silver Spring to work on Capitol Hill to service in the Obama administration, Jawando, who is 32, with a wife with her own D.C. political and policy chops and three adorable young daughters, has just about the perfect pedigree for an aspiring young politician. He even has a white mother from Kansas and an African father. Figuring out Jawando’s place in the high-profile, expensive 8th District primary, however, is no easy task with five months to go. The... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: The Hits Keep Coming

On November 14, 2015 Baltimore reached the depressing milestone of 300 murders this calendar year, a figure that has not been equaled since 1999.  However you look at that number—whether as a rate that far exceeds that of much larger cities or solely in comparison to the years since 1999—it’s a grim reminder that this has truly been a horrible year for the City. As if to add insult to injury, Bernie Sanders took a gratuitous swipe at Baltimore as a dangerous place during last week’s Democratic Presidential Debate.  The Vermont Senator, perhaps annoyed at Martin O’Malley’s jabs at his record on guns or wanting to shift attention away from his own unsure footing on foreign policy issues, put the spotlight squarely on Baltimore. The attack came way out of left field and made little sense as part of the debate discussion, but was a reminder that Baltimore is an easy... Continue reading
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Sparrows Point CEO Michael Moore: Sparrows Point and Maryland Are Open For Business

Recently, our company, Sparrows Point Terminal was in the news when a Baltimore County Councilman introduced zoning changes to help make the rebirth of Sparrows Point possible. We are grateful for the support of our local and state leaders, who understand the significance of this project and are working alongside us to meet the demands of a 21st Century economy. Earlier this year, I chose to leave my home state of Oregon and move to Maryland because this site is one of the most exciting projects in our industry and in the world. Over the course of my more than thirty years in the shipping and industrial real estate business, I have rarely come across a project with as much potential as Sparrows Point – a truly unique site in North America. As my wife and I moved here and established our home, we’ve been very pleased with the outstanding support... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Speaking of the Hogan Effect (And Other Tidbits)

So Del. Kathy Szeliga (R) is running for U.S. Senate with the full backing of Congressman Andy Harris’ political machine and the support of three of the state’s five Republican county executives. And Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R) is also actively pondering the race. Here is yet another example of how Gov. Larry Hogan’s upset victory last year is transforming Maryland. Szeliga or Glassman would be the underdog against either of the two Democratic members of Congress currently running for Senate – or against Congressman Elijah Cummings (D), if he runs and winds up as the Democratic nominee. But would Republicans of this caliber be seeking the job – even without having to sacrifice their current seats in 2016 – if Hogan hadn’t paved the way in 2014? It will be hard for any Republican to replicate Hogan’s performance next year. The presidential election year electorate – in Maryland and... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: The ABCs of Test Scores, Our Children and the Economy

Often when I meet with high-level corporate executives, small business owners or entrepreneurs the talk turns to hiring needs and workforce capabilities. Interestingly, the refrain I hear time and again in these discussions often goes the same. Highly desired job applicants need to possess the important “soft” career skills or habits - show up on time, dress appropriately, put in a full day’s fruitful work, treat co-workers with respect, and listen to and follow instructions. But these business executives also want -- indeed require -- job applicants that have sound, fundamental skills in reading and writing as well as some analytical abilities, which a grasp of math skills can help provide. With these basic skills in hand, many employers are confident that they can train an employee to learn job specific skills to be productive and experience career growth at their company. This brings us to the Partnership for Assessment of... Continue reading
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